Norliza specialises in promoting sustainable development and providing innovative planning solutions that contribute towards the quality of life of local communities.
Trained in urban planning, Norliza founded AJM Planning and Urban Design Group Sdn Bhd 26 years ago, and her experience covers a wide spectrum of the planning discipline, both locally and globally. She has served as secretary general of the Eastern Organisation of Planning and Human Settlement, as well as president of the Malaysian Institute of Planners.
Currently, she wears the hat of chief executive at Urbanice Malaysia. Established in June 2016 under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), Urbanice Malaysia serves as a centre of excellence to create better cities in Malaysia. It promotes sustainable and climate-responsive urban development through knowledge sharing, urban innovations, partnership programmes and multi-stakeholder engagements.
Norliza shares her thoughts with Construction+ on what it takes to build sustainable cities and communities—one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and key focus of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) (see sidebar for more information).
How are we approaching the SDGs in Malaysia?
At the federal level, we have the Economic Planning Unit (under the Ministry of Economic Affairs) coordinating with all the agencies and ministries to look at the implementation and coordination of the SDGs at a policy level. I believe we will see much more of this in the 12th Malaysia Plan as a lot of discussions are on the table.
On our side, we know that policy change is not easy and takes some time. That’s why at Urbanice, our focus is more on the bottom-up approach. Last year, we did roadshows to create awareness about SDGs and the NUA. From there, we looked at which local authority is willing to work with us; currently we are working with Shah Alam and Alor Gajah, as well as with the local authorities in Sabah.